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Memorial Community Church, Plaistow represented at Westminster Abbey service for the National Church

2 December 2013

Memorial Community Church, Plaistow represented at Westminster Abbey service for the National Churches Trust

On Thursday 28 November four people from Memorial Community Church, a Baptist church in Plaistow, took part in a service at Westminster Abbey to mark the 60th Anniversary of the National Churches Trust.

The church received a grant from the National Churches Trust in 2011 to improve its community facilities, and as part of the service Philippa King, Development Manager, was interviewed by broadcaster Huw Edwards about the community use of the church building. Representatives of two churches from other parts of the UK were interviewed about repairs to their buildings funded by the Trust.

In addition two young people from the church, Ian McClue, 16, and Janet Waithaka, 19, along with the minister Rev Mark Janes carried banners as part of the procession through the Abbey at the start of the service, following some of the distinguished guests including the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Mayor of Westminster.

The National Churches Trust has also given a £40,000 towards the current £250,000 repair project at Memorial Community Church, which is due to be completed on 13 December, and brought two parties of its supporters to visit the church earlier this year, including their vice-patron the Duke of Gloucester on one occasion.

Many MPs peers and personalities were among the 2,000 congregation at the service as well as representatives of other churches. The sermon was given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby. The actress Geraldine James OBE read a poem specially written for the service by former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams. Television presenter and Chief Scout Bear Grylls and historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes read passages from the scriptures.

Philippa King said, “It was an honour to represent a Baptist church from Newham at such a prestigious occasion, and people were interested to hear about the different things our building is used for.” The Memorial Community Church is used by many local voluntary groups including the Bridges project for homeless people, Active Tuesdays for over 50s and the We Are Family Club. It rents rooms out for events, offices to local charities, has a community garden and recently opened an art gallery in its bell tower.

There are photos here, and you can watch a video of the event, including part of the interviews, here.


More on the National Churches Trust website:


Since 1953, the National Churches Trust has allocated over 12,000 grants and loans, valued at £85 million in 2012 prices, to help fund repairs and upgrades to churches, chapels and meeting houses across the UK.

Posted Monday 9th December 2013 by Philippa King

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